Pew Charitable Trust Advocates Through “Surveys”


The Pew Charitable Trust recently issued a report on U.S. consumer attitudes towards GMOs.  Their survey released in mid-November suggests that the proportion of those surveyed considering GMOs “bad for their health” has risen from 39 percent in 2016 to 49 percent in 2018.  The Pew report also identified “meat produced with hormones” and “foods grown with pesticides” and “food containing artificial ingredients” as a substantial risk to human health.  The survey apparently disclosed that 78 percent of those who cared a great deal about GMO foods also considered food additives posing a serious health risk.


It is considered significant that the survey revealed that the higher the level of scientific knowledge and education among respondents, the less the concern over GMOs.


Social scientists consider that the results obtained by Pew were “over-stated”.  The results obtained were essentially attributed to how the questions were asked.  Studies conducted by the University of Idaho not including the phrase “genetic engineering” in questions found only a small percentage of respondents concerned over GMOs.  A study conducted by Rutgers University revealed a seven percent response favoring mandatory labeling of GM foods when asked specifically what information consumers required.  When the question was rephrased to determine whether GM content should be included on labels, 59 percent of the same survey group considered identification of GM ingredients important.


Based on previous Pew studies involving welfare and food with specific reference to GM technology, it would appear that Pew is constructing surveys to confirm predetermined prejudices and can no longer be regarded as an independent authority devoid of bias.